There are many substantial reasons why the GoPro has turned into the most popular and versatile camera in the world.Here on 4K Shooters, we’ve already covered many of the specs and the recent firmware updates for the new line-up of GoPro 4’s. However, it’s always better to have a closer and more in-depth look at these amazing tools.
Overall, the GoPro HERO4 Black, Silver and even the entry-level GoPro HERO provide even more advanced features such as higher frame rates, better low-light capabilities, longer battery life, diverse time and night lapse settings, more user-friendly manual controls (although there are no full manual exposure controls, at least not yet) compared to their predecessors. In the next Hands On Review by our friends over at B&H, we’ll see some of the bells and whistles the new line-up of GoPro cameras have.
The first part of the review covers the frame rates, navigation, audio improvements, extra features and also some minor drawbacks everyone should be aware of when shooting with the flagship model the GoPro HERO4 Black. The review also features a brief look at the other two models – the GoPro Hero4 Silver and low-budget 1080p HERO.
One of the most demanded features of many GoPro shooters and pixel peepers was the ability to shoot 4K video at a usable frame rate such as 24/30p compared to the rather limited for video 15p mode on the GoPro Hero 3+ Black. Now you have the option to capture 4K up to 30p and a lovely 1080p slow motion video up to 120 fps as well.
You should keep in mind, though, that if you plan to shoot only in 4K, you’ll need a couple of additional batteries as the GoPro HERO4 Black will give you only an hour while recording at the highest resolution. Unfortunately, due to the battery redesign, you won’t be able to use the older batteries from your GoPro HERO3, for example.
Furthermore, you should also avoid shooting a continuously 4K video for extensive periods of time (more than 20-25 minutes) as you may experience some overheat issues due to the more intensive power consumption, especially if the camera is inside its plastic housing.
The Multi-tool button is another very useful addition to the new HERO4 Black features. Albeit it’s a small improvement, it makes the navigation through the camera menu a much easier experience compared to the predecessor models. It will save you a lot of frustration that we all faced with the rather fiddly menu system on all predecessor models of the GoPro.
There is also a major improvement on the audio side of the new camera as well. The GoPro team claims that the new build in microphone of the HERO4 Black offers two times the dynamic range of HERO3 Plus. It’s made to capture more natural sound and shows a reasonable improvement overall.
The new HERO4 can shoot better footage in low light situations, and that is quite a feat, as the previous version of the GoPro cameras were notorious for their noisy, almost unusable low light footage. Now with the better and more advanced night lapse abilities and controls, the tiny GoPro sensor gives better results.
The Protune mode, the professional setting mode of GoPro cameras, is now extended to Photo mode as well as video. In this mode, the GoPro HERO4 Black now provides manual control over the White Balance, Colour Profiles, Sharpness and ISO. It also captures footage and photos in a less compressed format.
A new Quick Capture option allows to turn on the camera and start recording all by just touching a single button. If you press the new side button while recording you mark the clip so when you are editing you will access more vastly the best takes and will save time and energy while editing your GoPro footage.
The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities of the GoPro HERO4 Black can now be used simultaneously, which will allow users to pair the camera with a smart device and use the remote at the same time. Many shooters probably will miss the touchscreen that comes built-in the HERO4 Silver already features. However, considering the whole set of other enhancements the current HERO4 Black has I’m sure this is something many can go without.